Announcing the Trust Challenge, the Fifth Digital Media and Learning Competition

HASTAC is proud to announce the Fifth Digital Media and Learning Competition: The Trust Challenge. This MacArthur Foundation supported, HASTAC administered, award-based funding opportunity focuses on trust, privacy, and safety in connected learning environments. It is our hope that this competition will prove to be a great opportunity for teams of organizations, institutions, and individuals helping to create and sustain systems of trust for the greater good.

Please read the short call below for more details. Full information is on the DML Competition site along with a framing video posted on YouTube. An informational webinar series is under way as well; dates are posted at the bottom of this message. Help us spread the word - circulate this information with anyone you feel might benefit from participation.

CFP:  Announcing the Trust Challenge, the fifth Digital Media and Learning Competition

Full information:

Trust, privacy, and safety are critical to learning in an open online world. How can learners exercise control over who sees and uses their data? What tools do they need to navigate, collaborate, and learn online with confidence? What solutions will foster greater civility and respect in online learning environments? How can open technical standards create more opportunities to share and collaborate online in a spirit of trust?
The fifth open, international HASTAC/MacArthur Foundation Digital Media and Learning Competition, the Trust Challenge, will award $1.2 million to institutions and organizations that tackle these questions in real-life learning contexts.  The Trust Challenge will fund successful collaborations or “laboratories” that create scalable, innovative, and transformative exemplars of connected learning that bridge technological solutions with complex social considerations of trust.

Awards: $10,000 to $150,000 year-long development grants; $1.2 million will be awarded in total.

Timeline: Applications accepted September 3 to November 3, 2014. Final applications are due Monday, November 3, 2014 at 5pm PST/ 8pm EST.

Who can participate: Successful proposals will include youth-serving organizations and institutions and institutions of higher learning anywhere in the world where challenges to trust in connected learning environments can be identified and addressed.

Teams must include
  • institutional/organizational stakeholders and administrators that can provide and direct project objectives, inform design and implementation, and increase opportunities for scalability.

Additionally, teams might also include:
  • technologists, web developers, app developers, badge system designers, etc. that can design, build and implement the proposed digital solution; and
  • researchers, educators, learning experts, policy advisors, legal counsel, etc. that can give careful consideration to complex social and institutional/organizational considerations around trust and learning.

Connect with the Trust Challenge to get the latest news and notifications
Listserv: To receive notifications about the Trust Challenge, including reminders when the application opens, send a message to with “subscribe” in the subject line.
Twitter: and #dmltrust

Watch the upcoming Webinar Series “Building Trust in Connected Learning Environments” In collaboration with

July 8, 11am PST/2pm EST (archived recording available)
What do we mean by "trust" in relation to connected learning? Why we need to create connected learning environments that protect safety & privacy without compromising the ability to learn.
  • Cathy Casserly - Former CEO of Creative Commons, now a part-time Fellow at the Aspen Institute Communications & Society Program
  • David Preston - English teacher at Righetti High School
  • Sheryl Grant - Director of Social Networking, HASTAC

July 15, 11am PST/2pm EST
How trust is modelled in collaborative connected learning environments, and how we tackle serious issues--such as digital literacy and equity--so that people can take full advantage of learning opportunities.
  • Cathy Lewis-Long - Founding Executive Director of The Sprout Fund in Pittsburgh
  • Nichole Pinkard - Co-Founder of the Digital Youth Network, and Co-Founder of YOUmedia Chicago
  • Carla Casilli - Director of Design + Practice at the Badge Alliance
  • Barry Joseph - Associate Director for Digital Learning at the American Museum of Natural History
  • Doug Belshaw - Project lead for the Web Literacy Standard at the Mozilla Foundation
  • Sheryl Grant - Director of Social Networking, HASTAC

July 22, 11am PST/2pm EST
How to encourage multi-directional trust (from platforms to people) and empower learners of all ages to use learning resources confidently, effectively & safely.

July 29, 11am PST/2pm EST
Trust in research, public scholarship, pedagogy and distributed learning environments. How are higher education institutions already embracing principles for creating safe, optimized and rewarding learning?
  • Jonathan Worth - Creator of the massive, open Photography & Narrative (#Phonar) course, and a renowned British portrait photographer
  • Audrey Watters - Technology and education journalist, and self-described "rabble-rouser & recovering academic"
  • Howard Rheingold - Author, virtual community expert, and self-described "online instigator & expert learner"
  • Sheryl Grant - Director of Social Networking, HASTAC

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